The Vidette-Messenger Centennial EditionThe 1936 special edition celebrating Porter County's centennial year . . . .

The following article has been transcribed from the August 18, 1936, issue of The Vidette-Messenger, published in Valparaiso, Indiana. This particular special edition focuses on Porter County's centennial celebration and contains a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time.

Return to the index of articles from The Vidette-Messenger's Porter County Centennial special edition.

Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 1, Page 19.



Fourth of July celebrations in Valparaiso in the early days were a grand affair, according to newspaper accounts.

The Messenger of July 5, 1871, gives the following account of the Independence Day celebration held by Valparaisoans:

"The rain the evening before drove those unpatriotic farmers to town who otherwise would have spent the day in the harvest fields. There was no dust, but little mud, and from the west blew up a breeze, jaunty hats dotted the streets and the court house square was filled with a host of bright eyes and smiling faces who came to town determined to have a good time.

"The parade was a memorable one. An immense procession moved down the streets. A monster team of 100 horses drew a mammoth chariot on which rode the Goddess of Liberty and thirty young ladies. There was the Turner association in uniform and the 1,001 in gaily attire.

"Ten mounted marshals rode along to preserve order. Another entry in the procession was the spectacular sight of fifty ladies and gentlemen on horseback. Then came the Valparaiso Hook and Ladder company, the Valparaiso Silver Cornet band, children of St. Paul's school and other schools.

"Colonel Gilbert Pierce made the principal address of the day. A talk was also made by Vice-President Schuyler C. Colfax, who was brought to Valparaiso by Marquis L. McClelland, chairman of the celebration. Mr. Colfax was given a great ovation."

Thus did Valparaiso people sixty five years ago observe the Fourth of July.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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